Marched Right In
by Charles Goyette: The
Great Fiscal Cliff of 2012-13
Jay Leno had
Ron Paul on the Tonight Show again Tuesday night. I donít know if
Leno is a supporter, but he has at least figured out what most broadcasting
executives donít yet get: he understands the dynamic appeal of Ron
Paul and his message to the demographic groups that industry executives
the Republicans," Leno told a wildly enthusiastic studio audience,
"weíre actually going to let him speak."
the way he had been booed in the Republican primaries for wanting
to bring the troops home, and repeated the offending line for Leno,
"We just marched in. We can just march out."
shared that thought at the Republican convention, asking of Obama
"Why donít you just bring them [the troops] home tomorrow morning?"
realize how deeply Republicans and Democrats have gotten us into
this bankrupting global empire of wars. It has produced a national
security state with a cost $1.2 trillion a year. It has left the
country staggering on the ropes of insolvency.
Itís easy to
see how the spending has added up in Iraq and Afghanistan by just
looking at whatís involved in marching out of both countries. As
a Reuters account put it, drawing down American forces in Iraq was
a moving day that lasted for more than a year.
that, "the largest removal job in history" meant:
down the U.S. military bases, which numbered 505 at the peak and
included everything from small desert fueling depots to massive
installations where Americans have been entrenched for years.
- By early
November 2011, nearly 4 million items worth $390 million had been
given to Iraq, including 26,000 CHUs (Containerized Housing Units)
worth $124 million and 89,000 air conditioners worth $18.5 million.
At large bases like Victory, buildings, mess halls, offices, water
treatment and electrical plants, desks, tables and chairs, are
being handed over to the Iraq government, and tons of equipment
is being scrapped.
the removal Saddam Hussein's toilet from the cell where he was
held, destined for display in a US military museum.
is the palatial white elephant of the US Embassy in Baghdad. About
the size of Vatican City, and built at a cost of $750 million, the
compound was clearly designed for a very long occupation of Iraq
and to be the seat of a US imperium in the region.
Now the costs
of drawing down forces in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 may involve
equally staggering waste and expense. According to a NATO logistics
briefing, more troops will be needed in Afghanistan just to help
pack up. Reporters were told that NATO will need to
send home or dispose of 200,000 shipping containers and vehicles.
seems to know just how many U.S.-led International Security
Assistance Force bases there are in Afghanistan. TomDispatch.com
cites a source saying itís 550, but says including smaller facilities
used to secure roads and villages, the number appears to climb to
750; and that counting other foreign military installations, logistical,
administrative, and support facilities, the total is 1,500. In any
case, itís more than the number of bases in Iraq at the height of
Of course one
canít ever rely on anything the state says. Does drawing down forces
in a war theater really mean just replacing uniformed forces with
civilian contractors? Does leaving the country really just mean
moving troops to a staging area right across the border? The left
hand of the state never seems to know what the right hand is doing
in any case. In Iraq, the US is actually making new expansion plans
for its colossal embassy, while even as bases in Afghanistan are
closing and timetables proceed to draw forces down, other plans
are afoot for the expansion of facilities in the country.
a lot of method to the madness. One looks far and wide for any foresight
on this front and finds it only from Congressman Paul. Ten years
and trillions of dollars ago, advising against the ill-fated elective
war about to be launched in Iraq, Paul said:
States, with Tony Blair as head cheerleader, will attack Iraq without
proper authority and a major war, the largest since World War II
will resultÖ. During the next decade, the American people will become
poorer and less free, while they become more dependent on the government
for economic security."
And so it came
to pass. Americans have only themselves to blame. They should have
listened to Ron Paul before they marched in.
© 2012 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
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